City of Fresno Mayor Swearengin Praises Council Vote In Support of CA Enterprise Zones

Last week, the Fresno City Council passed a formal resolution opposing California Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to eliminate California’s Enterprise Zone program. Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s office then released the following statement.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin today praised Fresno City Council for passing a resolution opposing Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to end Enterprise Zone tax incentives.

“Now is not the time to dismantle a tool that has proven to be instrumental in job creation and economic revitalization in some of the state’s hardest hit areas,” Mayor Swearengin said. “In the City of Fresno, we widely market and utilize the Enterprise Zone program as a vital tool in our limited arsenal of incentives that can be used, and it is making an impact.”

According to the resolution, in fiscal year 2010 alone, 488 businesses in the City of Fresno utilized the Enterprise Zone Hiring Tax Credit, aiding in the creation and retention of nearly 1,200 and 6,000 existing jobs. In particular, the program has helped workers who have barriers to employment.

Gov. Brown’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of Enterprise Zone funding and programs effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Local business owners also voiced their support for continuing enterprise zone incentives.

“Our business would not be possible without the tax credits provided by the Enterprise Zone. If the program is repealed we will have to lay off workers, putting more people on the unemployment line, and may have to move our headquarters,” said John Shegerian, chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International. “We understand that the state has tough budget decisions to make, but it makes no sense to kill one of the few programs that creates jobs and helps California’s small businesses compete with out-of-state companies.”

“The enterprise zone program has been a crucial part of our success,” said Chris Adolph of Adolph Foods, located in an enterprise zone in south Fresno. “In our line of work, the enterprise zones help to ensure that State contracts are awarded to California businesses which provide California jobs.”

Read the City Council’s Resoution here:

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